Q at The Empress - The Fairmont Empress Hotel

4.5
471 reviews
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CAN$31 to CAN$50
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Regional American (Northwest)
Top tags:
  • Romance
  • Special Occasion
  • Good for a Date
Q represents Queen and country, the revered figure for whom this hotel was named. A singular letter, for a very singular space.

Located in the most storied room in Victoria, Q at the Empress is a must-visit culinary celebration that is second to none. This atmospheric space has a distinctly modern, contemporary feel, all the while staying true to the building’s unique iconic heritage with its dark cherry wood ceilings and spectacularly detailed moldings. Focusing on regional ingredients, the carefully curated menu features locally sourced seafood, meats and produce prepared surely and skillfully by Chef Morgan Wilson and his incredible team. Try one of over 850 bottles of wines from the temperature controlled visible wine wall featuring the best of the Pacific North West and select vintages from all over the globe. From romantic dinner to vibrant social event all you need to do is just sit back, relax and enjoy Q at the Empress, the place to be on Vancouver Island.
What 471 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.4
Food
4.7
Service
4.4
Ambience
4.1
Value
Noise · Moderate
88% of people would recommend it to a friend
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SF
Los Angeles
7 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

Everything was swell eating at the Empress, but would have appreciated knowing there was three separate dining areas. Was sent to the brunch area without question. Would have preferred knowing that the lunch menu was also being served.

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EE
Atlanta
29 reviews
Dined on July 8, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

Q is a very nice place to eat if you want an elegant setting that is a break from noise and crowds. Service was excellent without being stuffy. Food was uniquely prepared and very good, although I sometimes wished for simpler renderings of some dishes. For example, the rabbit tasted intense, perhaps because it was brined. Delicious but I would have enjoyed a more traditional take on rabbit braised in wine. The chocolate mousse dessert ranks among the best I have ever had...a must.

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c
Jacksonville
71 reviews
Dined on July 7, 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 4

Q at the Empress is more then a hotel restaurant. Oysters were tasty. The burrata was so-so. The prime rib was as good as any. Sides were a little weak. Service was outstanding. The wiatress was very patient with a large group.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on July 7, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Prime rib carvery cart was reminiscent of the Sunday supper we had when I was a lad

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PW
Cleveland
8 reviews
Dined on July 7, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Insanely perfect - everything. Food Was incredible, service was impeccable, Setting was gorgeous and comfortable. This exceeded all expectations, and was one of the finest dining experiences we’ve had in years. Thank you to our servers Will and Emily - and manager Maeve - for a truly memorable experience!!

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CH
Singapore
8 reviews
Dined on July 3, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 3

Excellent fine dining food coupled with good service but a bit noisy as it is part of a public area, makes this a good relax evening for cocktail and dinner. Price is reasonable but not cheap.

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H
Phoenix
3 reviews
Dined on July 1, 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 4

Wine, appetizers, entries and desserts were excellent.
Service was timely, professional and friendly.
Pricey but a good memory.

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OT
Vancouver
2 reviews
Dined on June 30, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Fantastic!

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MW
New England
1 review
Dined on June 25, 2019
Overall 4Food 3Service 4Ambience 4

Menu uses exotic ingredients and is not so easy to follow but waiter does explain and
answer questions. Food was very good but as this dinner was included in our tour it is hard to
know value versus price. Portions were reasonable ; not too small and not too large.

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OT
Calgary
1 review
Dined on June 19, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

My mom and I were at Q at the Empress for her birthday recently. Our server, Maddie, was delightful ~ very kind and very professional. She addressed me formally each time she approached our table. The food was the best I've eaten in a long time ~ my mom said the same of hers. The ambiance was perfect, the live music was just the right volume. I have nothing negative to say about our experience at the Q. I would recommend it in a heartbeat.

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m
Seattle
5 reviews
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 3Ambience 5

Love the history and ambience of this restaurant. The menu choices were wonderful and filled with seasonal offerings that were delicious. Service was very slow for a Sunday evening with a lot of open tables and even when we prefaced that we had a hard stop 2 hours after our reservation time. However our server was very nice and knowledgeable.

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J
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on June 12, 2019
Overall 5Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

Erin was a won’t hostess
Maddie took great care of us
Chef Ken Hookem was at our table twice
My son an I were very impressed

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M
1 review
Dined on June 10, 2019
Overall 5Food 3Service 5Ambience 4

We liked the atmosphere
And the food was really good

Service is awesome

The server Will was awesome and amazing

We didn’t like our table location, it was close to restaurant and the noise if the kitchen was hi

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CC
Chicago
27 reviews
Dined on June 6, 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 4

Maddie our server was spectacular!

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DM
San Diego
65 reviews
Dined on June 2, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Excellent, as we expected and probably better that expectations. We were fortunate to be there on a sunday for table-side, chef carved lamb leg. It was amazing. It was also spot prawn season so we took advantage of that too. Great experience, great food.

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CP
1 review
Dined on May 30, 2019
Overall 4Food 3Service 4Ambience 5

Chirashi bowl was excellent, except a bit on the salty side.

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DS
1 review
Dined on May 24, 2019
Overall 3Food 1Service 2Ambience 3

The appetizers were over priced and disappointing. The seafood was not fresh and the portions were small

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AH
1 review
Dined on May 20, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We had dinner at The Q on the first night of our honeymoon and it was exceptional! The food, ambiance, decor, and service exceeded our expectations and set the bar very high for the other restaurants we plan to visit.

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JS
Vancouver
3 reviews
Dined on May 19, 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 4

It was a lovely location and great setting. The food was good but the steak was not cooked as requested. Also, we booked for our Anniversary and felt more could have been done to make it special. We have basic seating even though we reserved the restaurant a few days before with notes on our anniversary.

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OT
Vancouver
2 reviews
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 3Food 5Service 5Ambience 3

We loved the food and the service was excellent; however, we did not enjoy the live music at all. It was much too loud and the genre didn’t suit the atmosphere of the restaurant.

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VG
Vancouver
11 reviews
Dined on May 17, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We came in for drinks and dessert to celebrate my sister’s birthday and were treated so well by our server, Adam. We loved the chocolate hazelnut pie! It was delicious the candied hazelnuts were excellent. Also tried the famous gin and tonic made with the mesmerizing purple Empress gin and quite enjoyed that as well. Will definitely be back to sit in the bar, try more of the drinks and enjoy the live music.

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T
Minneapolis
30 reviews
Dined on May 17, 2019
Overall 5Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

Great flavorful food offerings. Staff worked well together with attention to the customer. Classic and creative drink menu with distilled Gin specifically made for the Empress.

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OT
Vancouver
2 reviews
Dined on May 14, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Thank you to John for the lovely personalized service!!

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SC
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

I recently went to the Q at The Empress with my mom, for Mother's Day, and the service was outstanding. Not only that, but the smaller details that were included were wonderful. We had items on their brunch menu, and we both really enjoyed our choices. Flavorful, delicious, and well presented. The server we had even did a little white chocolate banner for my mom's birthday that was later in the week.

Thank you to the staff, for making our brunch a wonderful and relaxing experience.

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SH
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We had brunch at the Q on Mother's Day. Our server, Sybil, was outstanding. We thoroughly enjoyed the meal and the restaurant.

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c
Denver
55 reviews
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We enjoyed the best anniversary dinner thanks to Q at The Empress. Our servicer was absolutely outstanding! He requested the chef for additional pistachio moss from the delicious beet salad for us because we were fascinated by them. Everything was perfect for our special 10 year celebration. The gorgeous space, fun live music, a magnificent tenderloin, a scrumptious halibut and even an Empress cake gifted to us for the occasion. Thank you so kindly for making us feel so special! This was an evening we will not forget.

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RD
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on May 8, 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 2

Food was good. Pricey for what you get, typical of Fairmont. Service was good, albeit a bit rushed. Noisy, very noisy next to the bar.

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AT
1 review
Dined on May 8, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Dinner at the Q was probably one of the best dining experiences I have had. Magical atmosphere, great service, and unparalleled cuisine.

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OT
1 review
Dined on May 5, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

A friend and I went to the Q at The Empress for brunch, and it was extremely enjoyably. The atmosphere was calm, where was only one other family eating at the same time. I assume it’s is because everyone else goes for high tea. The food is very affordable, the plating was tremendously beautiful and taste was up perfect. We will definitely be returning.

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AH
1 review
Dined on May 3, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

My husband and I love Victoria and The Empress. It’s where we got engaged in 2017 and where we decided to hold our (very small) nuptial ceremony. We brought our officiant and witnesses to dinner at The Q, and had planned to wed at the dinner table, but when the restaurant found out what we had planned, they went way out of their way to make the night so special for us. Not only did they reserve us a lovely secluded table by the fireplace, but they let us marry in the Royal Suite at the hotel (which was BEAUTIFUL!). The food, drinks, and dessert were all incredible. All of the servers and staff were so kind and thoughtful. They even comped our bottle of champagne at the end of the night.
All in all it was a truly unforgettable experience! I will always recommend the Q and the Empress to anyone visiting Victoria.

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D
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on April 21, 2019
Overall 1Food 1Service 4Ambience 2

Background: I'm a winemaker and former chef de partie and my dining companion was a Red Seal chef and a Pastry Chef with 50 years of service. We have been going to the Empress for forty years together, celebrating family events and personal trips in a wonderful style.

The recent renovations haven't bettered the place. The loss of the Bengal Room is a terrible one, and the current bar is uncomfortable and uninviting.

But our meal at Q was _dreadful_.

The waitstaff and management were more than accommodating, and did a textbook job to mitigate the situation, both our waitress and the manager on duty could not have been more professional.

The issue is that not only is the menu at Q very ill-conceived, it was executed very poorly.

The chicken liver pate was a mousse, and actually fairly nice. But it was served on a roofing tile, not a plate. This may be an aesthetic choice, but slate tiles are irregular and fissured. Not only was it hard to eat from, the mousse was in the cracks of the tile and getting 100% of it out during cleaning would be impractical, which left us uneasy.

The short rib was served as a whole strip of rib, and not cut into manageable pieces. It was also curiously free of bison flavour, and surprisingly had more fat than meat by percentage, and was stringy and tough. It was served with a curious assortment of un-dressed/unseasoned steamed vegetables (carrots, green beans and zucchini) more suited to a steam table than fine dining. The blue corn polenta was awful, tasting of wax crayons and nothing else.

The pork hock was advertised as brined and slow-cooked. It most resembled a smoked pork hock available from local butchers more suited to soupmaking than an entree. It was salty, as such hocks are and while it was tender, it was difficult to eat because the only flavour was sodium chloride. The tagliatelle served with it was dry and rubbery and not prepared fresh.

There was no pleasure in any of the food.

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RU
Seattle
9 reviews
Dined on April 21, 2019
Overall 5Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

This is such a classy resturant that the anbiance makes you fell good. Good news, food is good too. We had brunch and food was enjoyable. Don't miss out on coctails

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KQ
Vancouver
2 reviews
Dined on April 21, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Great food and great service at a classic Victoria location.

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m
Los Angeles
63 reviews
Dined on April 21, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

This is the bar area near the tea room. It is certainly a restaurant, but it is not the main dining room. We ended up here by mistake for Easter Brunch, but it ended up being a great experience. Recommend.

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VH
1 review
Dined on April 20, 2019
Overall 5Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

We had an amazing time at the Q. I was celebrating my birthday and everything was great. Raymond our server was patient and had awesome customer service. The ambience is breathtaking, the food was delicious, we will definitely be back 🤗

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RR
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on April 18, 2019
Overall 3Food 3Service 4Ambience 3

A colleague highly recommended the Q so I went to entertain out-of-country visitors.
I did not find high value considering the price and the following findings:
- There were some crumbs on the chair when we were seated.
- The black granite table top still had some water streaks on them - no white linen tops.
- Was given one of those disposable chopsticks wrapped in paper similar to what you find from fast food places. Let's limit the waste by doing small things like offering re-usable cutleries instead of disposable ones. This also cheaps out the restaurant.
- The food was good but not great as one might expect from an Empress dining place.

The welcome and hosting were excellent.

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RM
1 review
Dined on April 8, 2019
Overall 3Food 5Service 5Ambience 3

I was disappointed that our table for 8 was not a round table so that we could all visit. We are not all from Victoria. Otherwise my husband enjoyed his bday dinner there.

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HC
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 5Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

Food was delicious and our server, Guy was fantastic! One of our party ordered duck confit and it was overcooked. That's why 4 stars instead of 5.

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OT
Edmonton
1 review
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall 3Food 3Service 5Ambience 4

Really nice place, but overall, not worth it in terms of pricing

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OT
Calgary
1 review
Dined on April 3, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Again, The Q was absolutely on point. The service was welcoming like coming home to family. The food kept you wanting more, like plot twists that keep you on the edge of your seat! I was full but found myself wanting more, like replaying a classic movie you just can’t get enough of... my steak was 8 ounces of bliss, with every bite making you pause like a work of art that takes your breath away! Please.... if you are in town, go visit The Q. Tell em Carson sent ya... you will thank me later! With a full restaurant and bar, the sounds of live entertainment will make you feel right at home...

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Tweets by Q at The Empress - The Fairmont Empress Hotel